Rollcab / Tool Cart, part 1:

The original post about this, (December 15th, 2014) was featured on on January 2nd, 2015. THX again, James Hobson!


This is basically the english version with pictures hosted here on WordPress instead of (also the pics are alightly bigger).


Getting my tools from the shelf in the cubby has always been a challenge.
I avoided lifting the heavy sewing box from the top rear -without throwing down the flatiron- whereever possible.
Additionally my soldering iron was stored in a totally different cabinet (and the power cord routinely pulled out more contents than desired).
=> Something had to change.

Acquiring inspiration is no big deal in the Information Age (you know where to look):

Who here hasn’t put off soldering up a project because pulling out and setting up all your soldering gear is a pain? A lot of hobbyists don’t have a dedicated workbench for such activities and their gear may even be packed away somewhere inconvenient. [laxap] has come up with a solution using a plastic toolbox as a base for his Mobile Soldering Workstation.

The cool thing with using a computer tower for a tool box is most of it is already setup for modular storage spaces. [Michael] removed the bracket that holds the power supply in place, and using some cardboard from a calendar stand formed a box attached to it — instant storage space. Even better? The 5.25? drive bays have sliding rails for easy removal! Again, all [Michael] had to do was build a box in between the slot rails and he had a cleverly utilized drawer.

The second half of the project is the bench itself. It features a lab supply, soldering iron transformer and holder, and some breadboards for good measure. The base of the unit houses a drawer which carries the bulk of his tools. Now he can pack up and clear out the living room in one single trip.

[Tez_Gelmir] built an awesome portable workbench. Not satisfied with just mundane designs, he patterned his box after Soundwave from the classic Transformers: Generation 1 series. This portable bench keeps his tools organized and ready to roll out.

One of our favorite features of this portable workstation is his clever wire management system — he’s added a compartment to hold all his wire and solder — everything is fed through small openings, allowing for easy access to whatever you need — without fumbling with a spool!

His previous solution to the problem was a toolbox in the trunk of his car, but he knew he could come up with a more environmentally friendly solution. He created a portable workbench that fits right on his bike rack that is able to transport all the tools needed for light repairs using only a bike.

…but what I had in mind was a rolling work bench – sparing the other furniture from being damaged by tin solder.
“Trolley” (as a keyword) did not deliver results, but eventually I found…
“Dresser tool chest isn’t as ghetto as you’d think” (

I still knew that I had seen a sleek cable- and device management system, but it appeared only after entering the correct search string (“pegboard”).

Furthermore this sight (first picture) got stuck in my memory – and in the meantime I learned what’s behind it: 5S.
Suitable for a manufacturing environment, not for home use for sure, but I wanted to mention it.
Grid-It on the other hand would be flexible enough, but pricy.

Getting started

One of these days I remembered the small dresser inherited from my grand aunt, which was only taken along by my mother out of spite (the neighbor had already put it aside from the bulk trash). Without the feet it would fit under my writing desk! Even if it would be put onto casters.

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Next problem: My daughter was not quite one year old. Stanley knife, awl, screws etc. are not to be left lying around in the den.
Not in the lower compartments of the furniture either (she just startet to walk and was capable of opening revolving doors and smooth-running drawers).
But as some of you might know: I have a good rapport with Europe’s biggest manufacturer of furniture locks. Two (wood) engineers there were quite fond of prettying up this piece of furniture from the Weimar Republic (or maybe WWII already) and had some advice. Additionally there were some prototypes and returns of etectronic furniture locks lying around – just the right stuff to add a bit thrill to it.


Adding some more ugliness

There were two diffenrent hints about removing the paintwork: Scraper and Sander.
Tried the first one on the carcass – noisy, exhausting and leaves surface irregularities. (But spares the sanding paper.)
Used the second one on the faces of door and drawers (40-grit first, 120-grit afterwards, then the wood was humidified to raise the fibre and finally the finest sand paper available was used).

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Had to saw off the feet. The glue could have been more sturdy than the surrounding wood. And because you will get askew at some point wood plane and sander were put into action.

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The floor plate seemed to be too thin, so some plastic clippings were put under the casters.

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I expected the paintwork (brush) to consist of many layers, so I added them from time to time (when there was enough). The layers added up to become seven in total.
And when there was even more time, I could craft recesses for the locks and their attachements.

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If you are lucky you have the exactly right Forstner bits, a millimeter too wide is not an issue for the keypad though. And the LED-Signal (/backup power) can be drilled with a standard “lip and spur” or “spade” type.


As the door is hollow I supported the hole for the fingerprint scanner.

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Older paintjobs had left marks on the piano hinge, so “severe cleaning agents” were used.


Replacing the ball snap catch with magnetic ones.


Mounting the locks, a “shooting bar” type to the door first:

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Then “slam” types to the drawers. As the actual lock is the same (and only the activation differs), the boxes can be exchanged arbitrarily.
…which does not always make sense, because the range of operation differs.

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Any suggestions for improving this?


Stowing it away

Time to rearrange things.
Certain tools (Dremel, crosscut saw) remain in the cellar, where the floor is tiled, however.

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Found a toolholder in the cellar… and immediately cut it (to fit above and below the structural shelf).


It fits!

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Here are some videos of the locking functions:

To be continued… here.

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